Your film Crowbar
- in a few words, what is it about?
is a throwback to the great slasher films of the late 70's and
early 80's. Those films relied a lot on in-camera effects, audience
imagination, and the idea that what you couldn't see was actually scarier
than what you could see. Today's horror films are all about the gore, the
bloodier the better. With Crowbar
I wanted to make a film that had an
eerie atmosphere, some gore, but mostly I just wanted to let the audience
imagine what the violence would look like rather than show it all.
What especially the
gorehounds among my readers will want to know: Why did you choose a
crowbar as your weapon of choice?
The crowbar became the
weapon of choice based on the fact that I love the shape, the intimidation
factor, and I loved it when I was playing GTA. I also had never seen a
film that used it before so I thought it would be perfect.
The weird small town Crowbar
is set in - is it in any way based on an actual place, or where did that part of
the story come from?
I knew it had to be a small town that
seemed to be trapped in time somehow. With all of todays technology it's
hard to make a film where someone's cell phone or Google Maps couldn't
help them out of a bad situation. I knew that if this was going to work,
it had to be somewhere that had very limited access to things like the
internet. We shot most of the film in the small town of Coburg, Oregon
just north of Eugene. So the small town feel really came from Coburg,
which only has a few thousand residents.
Other inspirations for Crowbar?
old slasher films, Halloween,
Psycho, those kind of classics that really
stand the test of time.
would you describe your directorial approach to the subject?
I come at it from a cinematographer and editor point of view, I really
wanted the film to look a certain way. My great DP Kurt Richter really
achieved the look we were going for from the first scene all the way to
the end. As far as the actors go, I really let them do their thing, but we
worked really hard on blocking each scene to get the most out of our small
few words about your two leads, Natasha Timpani and Michael Ray Clark, and
how did you find them?
Natasha Timpany, Michael Ray Clark
We found both Natasha and Michael
Ray through the audition process. They both came in and Natasha was
actually reading for a different role. We had a callback and paired 3 guys
with 3 girls and mixed and matched them to find the right 2 people that
had the best chemistry. When Michael Ray and Natasha read together, we all
just looked at each other in the audition room and knew that these two
were the right fit. This was actually Natasha's first audition and we gave
her the part, and she did not disappoint. She was always on time, knew her
lines and was ready to go, even when it was 2 in the morning and 33
degrees outside. She was a trooper and did a fabulous job for us. Michael
Ray is a true professional. He's appeared in major motion pictures like Training Day, he's been in countless commercials, TV shows,
the man has done it all. He was really the guy that brought authenticity
to the role and to the whole film. Without these two, I'm not sure how the
picture would've turned out.
Of all your supporting actors,
Dave Polland as off-the-hook realtor has probably given the most memorable
and bizarre performance. What can you tell us about him?
was another guy who came in and auditioned for us. When he came in he had
this great mustache that he had grown for another role he was doing and we
just loved it. We asked if he was willing to keep the stache for our film
and he said sure and the next thing we knew he was this crazy psycho real
estate guy. I wanted him to be the only guy in the town that had really
gone over the top and he delivered. We had a great time shooting his
few words about the rest of your cast and crew?
thing about a movie like this is that we wouldn't really afford to pay
anyone. But that was also a good thing because everyone who got involved,
got involved because they wanted to be there. We didn't have to force
anyone to participate, they did it willingly. Everyone worked hard and
there's no way to say thank you enough to all the people who came out for
one night, or all 9 months of shooting. Susan Bunker (Janice), Elizabeth
Schrey (Nancy), Scout Sinay (Young Wendall), there's too many to mention.
Everyone did an outstanding job and I will always remember Crowbar
people who made it happen.
at least, Crowbar
is a blend of slasher movie, conspiracy thriller and supernatural horror.
A statement you can at all live with, and would you like to elaborate on
I would say that's pretty accurate. I wanted it to have
that slasher feel up until the last third of the picture when things
really start to get weird. And once you get to the end, you might have to
go back and watch it again to figure out the meaning of certain things.
being essentially a horror film, is horror a genre at all dear to you, and
your genre favourites?
I've always loved horror films
mostly because my mom never let me watch them. But since I grew up on the
'less is more' style of horror film, that's the kind I wanted to make.
Some of my favorites include, The Shining, Halloween,
Psycho, Rosemary's Baby, The
Let's go all the way back to your
beginnings: How did you get into filmkmaking in the first place, and did
you receive any formal training on the subject?
got into filmmaking by accident. I had always loved movies, but was going
to college for a music degree. A friend of mine was a journalism major and
was working at a local TV station. They had an opening for an evening news
editor and he said I could have the job if I wanted it. I agreed and ended
up learning how to edit and eventually shoot broadcast quality images.
Eventually shooting the news evolved into shooting things that I had a
little more control over, like short films and music videos. I still don't
have any formal training, but I'm currently enrolled at The University of
Oregon as a Cinema Studies major, so I'm working on it.
you tell us about your filmwork prior to Crowbar?
short films, music videos, weddings, and a lot of live events like
concerts and sporting events.
future projects you'd like to talk about?
I've got a few
things in the works, but they are completely top secret. When it's time to
let them out, you'll be the first to know.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Kubrick, Malick, Aronofsky, Paul Thomas Anderson,
Richard Kelly, The Coen Brothers, Hitchcock.
Your favourite movies?
The Shining, Boogie
Nights, Donnie Darko,
Halloween, Psycho, The Big
and of course, films you really deplore?
Anything by Kevin
Smith (post Chasing Amy), anything by Michael Bay.
film's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
favorite band is 1/2 Acre, a country band out of Eugene. Crazy good.
for the interview!
Thanks! And remember. "I'm not going to hurt you, I'm
just going to bash your brains in."